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This title in other editions

Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts

by

Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts Cover

ISBN13: 9780393333541
ISBN10: 039333354x
Condition:
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 2010, Clive James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Deciding that “if you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do,” James moved his library to his house in Cambridge, where he would “live, read, and perhaps even write.” James is the award-winning author of dozens of works of literary criticism, poetry, and history, and this volume contains his reflections on what may well be his last reading list. A look at some of James’s old favorites as well as some of his recent discoveries, this book also offers a revealing look at the author himself, sharing his evocative musings on literature and family, and on living and dying.

As thoughtful and erudite as the works of Alberto Manguel, and as moving and inspiring as Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and Will Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book Club, this valediction to James’s lifelong engagement with the written word is a captivating valentine from one of the great literary minds of our time.

Synopsis:

Forty years in the making, a new cultural canon that celebrates truth over hypocrisy, literature over totalitarianism.

Synopsis:

"I can't remember when I've learned as much from something I've read--or laughed as much while doing it."--Jacob Weisberg,

Synopsis:

An esteemed literary critic shares his final musings on books, his children, and his own impending death

Synopsis:

Echoing Edward Said"s belief that 'Western humanism is not enough, we need a universal humanism,' the renowned critic Clive James presents here his life"s work. Containing over one hundred original essays, organized by quotations from A to Z, Cultural Amnesiailluminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. In discussing, among others, Louis Armstrong, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, James writes, 'If the humanism that makes civilization civilized is to be preserved into the new century, it will need advocates. These advocates will need a memory, and part of that memory will need to be of an age in which they were not yet alive.' Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesiais precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost.

Synopsis:

Finally in paperback after six hardcoverprintings, this international bestseller is anencyclopedic A-Z masterpiece-the perfectintroduction to the very core of Westernhumanism. Clive James rescues, or occasionallydestroys, the careers of many of the greatestthinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, andphilosophers of the twentieth century. Soaringto Montaigne-like heights, CulturalAmnesia is precisely the book to burnishthese memories of a Western civilization thatJames fears is nearly lost.

About the Author

Clive James, the author of numerous books of criticism, autobiography, and poetry, writes for the New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

librarian999, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by librarian999)
Cultural Amnesia remembers what we have forgotten - that is, if we ever knew it. These short essays and commentaries are mnemonics to help us fix things in our minds that too easily escape. It is shocking how often some 'lost' memory from this book turns up - things or people I would not have known if not for this book.

Clive James is an avowed humanist. His subtitle 'Necessary Memories From History and the Arts' describes his intent to a 'T'. He thinks we have forgotten too much and that rankles with him. Of course, the implication of the book is that there is much even he hasn't remembered to remind us of and that infuriates him. How could we remember everything? How could we read everything? 'Dammit!' he seems to be saying, 'Somebody has to remember everything!'

James is vain, belligerent, annoying, sometimes verbose and self-congratulating. He is also fascinating, articulate, humble, adept and as inclusive as it may be human to be. You shouldn't, you can't ignore this book. If we leave it frustrated because he hasn't told us enough about any individual, it's because we haven't the humanity to go find out more. These essays are sparks not wildfires.

Truth is, we hang on every word. No time to agree or disagree, no time to dispute or add on, we must just go along for the ride. The wind is in our hair and the bugs are in our teeth and we haven't the breath to answer. Yes, Mr. James is a pompous ass and yes, he can be infuriating, but take him in the right way and you will have no greater time with any other essayist.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
librarian999, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by librarian999)
Cultural Amnesia remembers what we have forgotten - that is, if we ever knew it. These short essays and commentaries are mnemonics to help us fix things in our minds that too easily escape. It is shocking how often some 'lost' memory from this book turns up - things or people I would not have known if not for this book.

Clive James is an avowed humanist. His subtitle 'Necessary Memories From History and the Arts' describes his intent to a 'T'. He thinks we have forgotten too much and that rankles with him. Of course, the implication of the book is that there is much even he hasn't remembered to remind us of and that infuriates him. How could we remember everything? How could we read everything? 'Dammit!' he seems to be saying, 'Somebody has to remember everything!'

James is vain, belligerent, annoying, sometimes verbose and self-congratulating. He is also fascinating, articulate, humble, adept and as inclusive as it may be human to be. You shouldn't, you can't ignore this book. If we leave it frustrated because he hasn't told us enough about any individual, it's because we haven't the humanity to go find out more. These essays are sparks not wildfires.

Truth is, we hang on every word. No time to agree or disagree, no time to dispute or add on, we must just go along for the ride. The wind is in our hair and the bugs are in our teeth and we haven't the breath to answer. Yes, Mr. James is a pompous ass and yes, he can be infuriating, but take him in the right way and you will have no greater time with any other essayist.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393333541
Author:
James, Clive
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Movements - Humanism
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Philosophers
Subject:
Intellectuals
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
Books & Reading
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies

Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts Sale Trade Paper
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$8.98 In Stock
Product details 192 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393333541 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Forty years in the making, a new cultural canon that celebrates truth over hypocrisy, literature over totalitarianism.
"Synopsis" by , "I can't remember when I've learned as much from something I've read--or laughed as much while doing it."--Jacob Weisberg,
"Synopsis" by ,
An esteemed literary critic shares his final musings on books, his children, and his own impending death
"Synopsis" by , Echoing Edward Said"s belief that 'Western humanism is not enough, we need a universal humanism,' the renowned critic Clive James presents here his life"s work. Containing over one hundred original essays, organized by quotations from A to Z, Cultural Amnesiailluminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. In discussing, among others, Louis Armstrong, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, James writes, 'If the humanism that makes civilization civilized is to be preserved into the new century, it will need advocates. These advocates will need a memory, and part of that memory will need to be of an age in which they were not yet alive.' Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesiais precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost.
"Synopsis" by , Finally in paperback after six hardcoverprintings, this international bestseller is anencyclopedic A-Z masterpiece-the perfectintroduction to the very core of Westernhumanism. Clive James rescues, or occasionallydestroys, the careers of many of the greatestthinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, andphilosophers of the twentieth century. Soaringto Montaigne-like heights, CulturalAmnesia is precisely the book to burnishthese memories of a Western civilization thatJames fears is nearly lost.
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